Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Immaculate Comeback

After an absence of three decades, Benedict XVI today resurrected the red velvet mozzetta, with hood and ermine trim. (And notice the coat of arms -- still sans tiara, grazie mille -- on the also resurrected, Paul VI-style state stole.)

That sound you hear is the jubilation of church queens around the world, who've been calling my phone since the visuals of the traditional papal visit to the statue of the Immaculate Conception at the foot of the Spanish Steps -- where Popes have come for prayer and wreath-laying since time immemorial on 8 December -- first emerged earlier this morning.

Yes, I was very wrong on this, and many of you will be happy to know I've served up a dish of crow for myself. It seems that I've not been endowed with the gift of divining the sartorial fabulousness of Popes.

Oh well, you can't have everything.

A happy Immaculate Conception to one and all.

PHOTO 1 (left): REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico
PHOTO 2 (right): AP/Pier Paolo Cito